State Department: Serbia-Montenegro - Travel Warning, October 17, 1998
Serbia-Montenegro - Travel Warning
October 17, 1998
The Department of State warns U.S. citizens against travel to
Serbia-Montenegro and urges U.S. citizens in Serbia-Montenegro to depart
the country. Due to the failure of Belgrade authorities to comply with
United Nations Security Council Resolution 1199 and the ongoing violence
perpetrated by security forces against ethnic Albanians in Kosovo, members
of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) are prepared to take
military action and issued an Activation Order to that effect on October
13. Implementation of the Activation Order has been held in abeyance by
NATO, to give the Serbia-Montenegro government an opportunity to
demonstrate appropriate and adequate forward movement regarding compliance
with UNSCR 1199. While the government of Serbia-Montenegro has given
assurances no retaliatory actions would be taken against U.S citizens,
given recent history in the region, the possibility exists for spontaneous
reactions against U.S. citizens.
On October 15, the Department of State terminated ordered departure
status of Embassy Belgrade and Kosovo Diplomatic Observer Mission personnel
so that they can return to post to provide services necessary to develop
and verify the agreements reached between the Federal Republic of
Yugoslavia (Serbia-Montenegro) and the Organization for Security and
Cooperation in Europe and NATO. Dependents of Embassy personnel are not
being allowed to return at this time.
Both the police and Kosovo Liberation Army (UCK) are active in the
region and each operates numerous checkpoints throughout Kosovo. There
have been incidents at both kinds of checkpoints in which guards have fired
at vehicles whose occupants did not obey their commands. Due to the
potential for violence, the authority of the individuals operating these
checkpoints should not be challenged.
This supersedes the Travel Warning for
Serbia-Montenegro dated October 11, 1998 to note the return of
non-emergency personnel to U.S. Embassy Belgrade.